Known as "ski de fonds" in France, there are 58 kms of cross-country tracks in the Chamonix valley.
There are two techniques:
- Traditional : where you slide the skis in two grooves that have been prepared for you
- Skating : where you skate the skis diagonally and leave a herringbone track in the snow. (more energetic!)
Les Houches - There are pistes at 1000m going around the Lac du Chavant near the Prarion lift (6km), and others at the top of the mountain at 1800m (10km).
Bois de Bouchet - Trails start from the Foyer du Fond, situated on the main road to Argentière (opposite the MBC bar), from where you can purchase your ski de fonds piste pass. There is a 3km circular green route through the trees which links on to a further 17kms of more demanding blue and red graded routes.
Les Praz - This starts from near the Flégère lifts: try the 6km green circuit around the golf course.
Argentière - The trails begin in Les Grassonets before you reach Argentière itself (on your left on the way up the valley after the long avalanche protection tunnel). Look out for the tennis/squash courts. Near the starting point the trails are fairly flat greens or blues (6km) although if you carry on through to Argentiere there are steeper sections, classified red (10km).
Vallorcine - The meeting point is by the Tourist Office in the centre of the village or at Le Buet, the village before Vallorcine.
There are approximately 10km of cross-country trails through picturesque woodland and alongside the banks of the river "Eau Noire".
They are mainly blue and red classified pistes so suit beginner or intermediate skiers.